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Rhubarb Recipes

July marked the end of rhubarb season, so if you’re left with a frozen batch of this beautifully hued vegetable that thinks it’s a fruit, then we’ve got a couple of delicious ways to use it up. Summer bank holiday is just around the corner, so what better excuse to get your pinny on and indulge in a few homemade treats.

Every dinner party should start with a welcome cocktail, so treat your guests to a refreshing Rhubarb Fizz…

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INGREDIENTS
SERVES: 6
Syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
450g fresh rhubarb, finely chopped

Cocktail:
8 oz gin
9 oz rhubarb syrup
1 fresh lemon squeezed
12 oz Castle Brook Classic Cuvée
Apple and strawberries for garnish

METHOD
Add all of the syrup ingredients to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and let cook for 3 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. Strain, so that there is no pulp in the drink. Pour into a container and store for 1 week in the fridge.
Put the gin, rhubarb syrup, lemon juice and ice into a pitcher. Stir to combine, then pour into glasses filled with ice, top with Castle Brook and your garnish!

For those of you with a sweet tooth, why not turn your Wye Valley Rhubarb into this Rhubarb Lattice Pie…

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SERVES: 8
INGREDIENTS
Butter for greasing
350g all-butter shortcrust pastry (you can use sweetened pastry if you prefer)
600g rhubarb, trimmed before weighing
230g golden caster sugar
Grated zest of 1.5 oranges
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
3 tbsp. ground almonds
Pinch of salt
Egg wash: 1 egg
A few drops of milk

METHOD
Butter a 23cm tart tin (about 2.5cm deep) and set aside. Roll out half the pastry until wide enough to line the dish with a little overhang. Place inside the dish, pressing down into the edges and trim. For the lattice: roll out the other half of the pastry into a rectangle and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Chill both for at least half an hour. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Chop the rhubarb into 1.5inch chunks. Place in a bowl with the sugar, ground almonds, cardamom, orange zest and salt, and toss thoroughly to coat. Fill the pastry casing with your rhubarb mixture. Remove the rectangle of pastry from the fridge and carefully slice the pastry into long strips around 1cm wide. Arrange the strips over the rhubarb in a lattice pattern and trim, saving three for the edge. For the egg wash, beat the egg and milk in a small bowl with a whisk. Using a pastry brush, coat the lattice with egg wash. Use the last three strips of pastry to cover the rim and then coat with the rest of the wash. Place the dish in the oven (on a baking tray to catch the drips, and to make it easier to remove). Bake for forty-five minutes, although if your rhubarb is very wet it may take a little longer. Leave it in the dish to cool slightly before transferring to a serving dish, or cool completely if you are serving it cold. Serve with cream, custard, or vanilla ice cream.

Don’t forget you can purchase your bottle of Castle Brook from your local M&S or Waitrose, or online here – http://www.castlebrookvineyard.co.uk/product/classic-cuvee-sparkling-wine/.

Enjoy!

Chris

Three Cheers for Castle Brook!

CB19515 (1)2016 has been amazing so far for us here at Castle Brook Vineyard! Earlier this year, we launched in major retailers – Waitrose and Marks & Spencer and now we’ve got even more great news for you – two triumphant award wins!

Firstly, we secured a gold medal at the English and Welsh Wine of the Year Competition 2016, for the second year running! The panel of judges described our English sparkling wine as “creamy mousse, lively, good length & balance”.

Secondly, three masters of wine tried and tested our Castle Brook at the 2016 Decanter awards, amongst 91 other wines and awarded us with ‘Highly Recommended’. They described our wine as “Impressive wine: good maturity and loads of concentration leading to a dry, balanced and fresh finish.” Decanter’s Tasting Director, Christelle Guibert reports “Top UK sparkling wines now offer quality comparable to their French rivals, while exhibiting a style and structure all of their own.” We couldn’t be happier, English sparkling wine is finally on the map!

Sip, sip hooray!

Add some sparkle to your shelf and pop a Castle Brook cork this weekend – “Chinn Chinn!”

www.castlebrookvineyard.co.uk.

A Sparkling Summer!

CB19515 (1)You’ll probably agree, that the first half of this year has gone like a flash and believe it or not summer is officially here, again. We’re sure that lots of you have a reason to celebrate this summer, but if you’re lacking a little bit of excitement this year, we’re giving you two extremely patriotic reasons to stock up on our English sparkling wine…

Reason #1 – The Euros
The Euros are now well underway, and although England haven’t necessarily been on top form, two draws and a win have put them 2nd in Group B, which means they are through to the Top 16 stage. Everyone knows that you need some form of tipple in your hand whilst supporting your country, and that’s where we come in! Sparkling wine is the perfect celebratory tipple, and what better way to raise a toast to England, than with one of the very best English sparkling wines around. So, make sure you’re ready with a glass in your hand, when England face Iceland next Monday!

Reason #2 – Wimbledon
It’s that time of the year again, where it’s completely acceptable to eat as many strawberries drenched in cream and drink as much sparkling wine as you like! Next week, we’ll see rackets at the ready for the kick off of Wimbledon 2016, where we’ll be supporting our favourite, Andy Murray! Last year, he lost out to the very talented Swiss player, Roger Federer, in the semi-final. But, hopefully this year we’ll be cheering him on all the way to the final, where he will lift the trophy for the second time in his career!

If you’re off to watch any live matches, whether it be in France or in the UK, we hope you have the most fabulous time! But, if you’re going to be watching from home, then stock up on our English sparkling wine and invite your friends and family round for a Euros/Wimbledon style party! Buy online here – http://www.castlebrookvineyard.co.uk/.

Remember to tweet us a picture – @castlebrookwine.

Enjoy!
Chris

A Three Course Meal with Castle Brook

 

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There’s no better feeling than that first sip of fizz on a warm summer’s day! Fizz paired with fabulous food and your best friends is the perfect recipe for a summer dinner party. So grab your pinny and create this delicious three course meal for your guests!

Starter
Asparagus is a superfood champion that is high in protein and low in fat and makes a light and delicious starter. One of the simplest and most delicious ways to cook asparagus is to roast it in the oven, add a sprinkle of garlic, pair with a softly poached egg for perfection!  Make sure you buy the very best from Wye Valley Produce, you can find it in M&S at its best from March through to July.

Main
Create an elegant seafood extravaganza, the perfect light dish for a warm summer’s evening! Our first choice is mussels, they’re surprisingly simple to cook. Simply saute shallots and garlic, add a splash of Castle Brook if you can spare it and steam your mussels in the broth – trust us, it’ll will make all the difference. Don’t forget to serve with flat parsley for added flavour and a slice of crusty bread to soak it all up!

Dessert
A meal isn’t complete without a delicious dessert, so finish off with a blueberry and buttermilk panna cotta. Blueberries are a well-known superfood and taste best throughout the summer months!

We’ll be in the garden enjoying many dishes this season with our English sparkling wine, so if you’re ever stuck for a recipe let us know! You can buy our Castle Brook online here – www.castlebrookvineyard.co.uk.

Waitrose Listing

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We’re thrilled to tell you all that our Castle Brook Classic Cuvée is now stocked in Waitrose!

The Waitrose wine buyer has been wanting to unearth the best English wines available and they’ve chosen our very own Castle Brook Classic Cuvée to add to their home-grown wine range. The wine will be available in Waitrose stores within 30 miles of our vineyard in Herefordshire, as well as on the Waitrose Cellar website.

Waitrose are the second major retailer to start stocking our wine this spring, which is a real achievement for a small vineyard like ours. So look out for our delicious English sparkler in Waitrose this summer and celebrate these gorgeous sunny evenings in style…

 

Food Festivals

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We are lucky to have access to an abundance of food festivals in the nearby area. From the famous Ludlow Food Festival that attracts 30,000+ each September, to the small but in our view, equally special, Monmouth Food Festival in late May.

When you’re foodies like we are, there is nothing better than a day spent tasting delicious morsels from local growers and artisan producers, all washed down with alcoholic delights from locals like Chase Vodka, Oliver’s Cider and Hobsons Brewery, as well as yours truly of course, Castle Brook. Rain or shine, a day at a food festival is a day well spent.

Here are some of our favourites:

Ludlow Spring Festival – 14th May 2016

200 real ales is the headline of this festival and let’s be honest, a great reason to go along. Add to that artisan cheese, gourmet sausage rolls, cured meats and punnets of warm, freshly picked strawberries and this festival is a readymade picnic! The perfect accompaniment to the eclectic music line up.

Great Malvern Food Festival – 30th May 2016

The Great Malvern Food Festival takes place in the grounds of the Great Malvern Priory Church and comprises  over 60 stalls showcasing all sorts of talented local producers. An extra foodie bonus is the Malvern Munch – a 7-mile walk during which you get to taste local foods and listen to live music. What’s not to love?

Monmouth Food Festival – 4th June 2016

Shortbread, brownies and designer donuts are just a few of the delicious things on offer this year at Monmouth Food Festival. And with a Children’s Quarter hosting all sorts of cookery based activities, this is a day out for the whole family.

Shrewsbury Food Festival – 25th June 2016

With over 200 stalls to take in, Shrewsbury Food Festival has something for everyone. Some of our favourites to visit include the Handmade Scotch Egg Company, Granny Tiggs and all the delights from Ludlow Food Centre. Yum!

Abergavenny Food Festival – 17th September 2016
Known to be the biggest and best-loved food festival in Wales, this one is a real treat, with tonnes of stalls showing off Wales’ (and some of England’s) finest produce. Look out for celebrity chefs and  sensational street food!

So there you go – that’s our summer planned. Happy eating and drinking!

Chris

M&S Listing

We are delighted to announce that our Castle Brook Classic Cuvée can now be found in selected Marks & Spencer stores, as well as on their website.

Marks & Spencer are the first major retailer to stock our wine and this is a real accolade for a small vineyard like ours which is relatively new to the wine business. It also demonstrates the increasing popularity and acceptance of English sparkling wine and our desire as drinkers to know where our wine has come from.

As a company, we have enjoyed a long relationship with Marks & Spencer, supplying stores across the UK with our well-known Wye Valley Asparagus, and working closely with them to extend our growing season from April until mid June and again from September to October. It’s extremely exciting to now be retailing our wine through them too.

The Castle Brook Vineyard Classic Cuvée will be in stores in time for spring this year and those all important summer months of eating (and drinking) al fresco. So look out for our delicious English bubbly in the following Marks & Spencer stores and be sure to pop it in your picnic basket this summer.

Hereford
Monmouth
Gloucester New
Cirencester SF
Bristol
Bristol Avonmead SF
Cribbs Causeway
Longwell Green Bristol
Yate SF
Chepstow SFCB19563

Chinn Chinn!

A Herefordshire Spring Picnic

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Spring is finally here, which means warm weather must be on the way and since we live in the most glorious Herefordshire countryside, a picnic is a must! We think our sparkling wine is the perfect picnic tipple, whether you’re celebrating a special event or simply happy it’s the weekend!

Now with great wine, you need great food and Herefordshire is renowned for both. So here’s a list of some of our favourite Herefordshire produce for you to put in your picnic basket with our Castle Brook Classic Cuvée:

British Cassis
If you’d like to add a touch of sweetness to your fizz, then add a dash of British Cassis. Fruity, fresh and made with blackcurrants grown and pressed in down the road.

Mannings Juice
If you’re taking along your little ones, the Mannings Ginger Apple or Conference Pear Juice, is a must. It’s definitely a favourite in our household!

Legges
Who doesn’t love a pie? Legges sell delicious handmade hot and cold pies perfect for a hearty lunch out in the fresh air.

Monkland Cheese
Monkland Cheese Dairy is a produces local artisan cheeses that are simply mouthwatering. Cheese boards are great for sharing, especially in the spring sun!

Tyrrells
Tyrrells are well-known across the country but that doesn’t make them any less Herefordshire.
Personally, we like to posh up our picnic with their sweet and salty popcorn.

Frank’s Luxury Biscuits
For something sweet, stash some of Frank’s Luxury Biscuits (or flapjacks) in your hamper. You can buy them in most local farm shops and delicatessens or order online.

So that’s our roundup of Herefordshire’s finest produce. Let us know what yummy Herefordshire goodies you put in your picnic basket.

Enjoy,

Chris

Choosing Your Wedding Reception Drinks

When it comes to planning a wedding, it’s the details that make your day extra special. Whether it’s designing your invitations, choosing your flowers or serving delicious food and drink, every little thing counts.

Welcoming your guests to your wedding reception with a glass of something cold and bubbly is a longtime tradition and one your guests will love. There are plenty of options to choose from with classic Champagnes, Proseccos and Sparkling wines all offering something different.

If you’re planning a bespoke theme for your wedding, you can always add a garnish to the glass to add a bit of personality. Garden-grown or farm-sourced herbs and berries are great for a natural taste, or you could add a drop of fruit liqueur like Herefordshire’s British Cassis or Chase Elderflower liqueur.

And if you’re looking for a quintessentially English look and feel at your reception, an English sparkling wine is a great choice to celebrate your day with. You could even choose an English red and white wine for the tables during the wedding breakfast.

There’s nothing more traditional than raising a toast to the bride and groom at their wedding – after all it is a very special day. So make sure you serve a glass of fizz before the speeches begin, ready for that all important moment. After all, it’s unlucky to toast with an empty glass!

The best way to decide what type of fizz you want for your wedding is to organise a tasting with your friends and family and buy a variety of wines for everyone to try. If you’d like to add Castle Brook’s award-winning Classic Cuvée into the mix, purchase a 10% OFF tasting bottle here by entering the code “BRIDE” – www.castlebrookvineyard.co.uk.
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Have a Sparkling Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is now just a matter of days away, so if you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to start making those last minute preparations to show you care!

There is nothing quite like popping a cork  to mark an occasion and enjoying a glass of bubbles! Sparkling wine is great as it wakes up the palate and stimulates the appetite, which is perfect when it comes to wooing your loved one with their favourite meal.

We, of course are ever passionate in creating the perfect glass of fizz. Our vineyard lies at the heart of our family farm deep in the Wye Valley which is lush and romantically undulating! This Valentine’s Day we can’t decide whether to enjoy a glass with a lovely aged Herefordshire steak or maybe a poached  salmon for which the Wye valley is famous. Not forgetting of course a few stems of our delicious Wye Valley Asparagus – shameless plug I know!

We offer FREE 48 hour delivery so you can still get yours in time for the big day – you can buy online now www.castlebrookvineyard.co.uk.

Yours,

Chris Chinn

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